A couple of days ago I had the opportunity to meet Aumai Teiotu. A seventeen-year-old student of Enuamanu in Atiu, Aumai has been interning at Cook Islands Investment Corporation for the last couple of weeks. She is the first intern of this nature with organisation which CIIC hopes to develop and build on for aspiring young Cook Islanders.
Aumai is one of seven year 13 students from Enuamanu which have been undergoing work experience here in Rarotonga. Aumai has been at CIIC, two of her fellow students (girls) are at the Ministry of Agriculture, whilst the four boys all opted for mechanical options with two at the Motor Centre and the other two at Autotech.
They have all been staying at the Atiu Hostel, under the watchful eyes of their teacher Mr Bob Gore who also is in charge of transporting them to and from “work” each day.
They have been taking care of their own catering at the hostel and I was told, Emily is the best cook, the boys have taken on supervisory roles and the girls the “action workers”.
Whilst at CIIC, Aumai has split her time between the Government Facilities Development Division (GFDD) where she was given the opportunity to operate a drone for the first time; and the Property Management Team who look after administration, money, and budgeting. The time she has spent with Sally Hosking-Naea learning about design, developing and planning projects has been the highlight of her internship.
Her time has also been split between being indoors in the corporate office and being outdoors on actual building sites. Aumai has spent time observing the construction of the Constitution Hut and has also helped out with the installation of door frames and some painting at National Auditorium that is currently undergoing renovations.
Aumai is up-to-play on OH&S (Occupational Health and Safety) issues and informs me that all the people she has seen working on building sites have been wearing the appropriate footwear and safety gear.
Aumai has been really impressed with the teamwork she has observed at CIIC “even though everyone has their own responsibilities, they help each other out whenever help is needed.”
“The projects CIIC leads and the facilities they manage impact everyone’s lives – especially children – and not just in Raro but in the outer islands too. I love all the connections the staff here have.”
Aumai’s time at CIIC has reconfirmed her desire to study either construction engineering or architecture at AUT in Auckland from next year. She is very keen to return to the Cook Islands after completing her studies and to work at CIIC – I reckon CIIC would welcome having her on the team.
CIIC chief executive Allan Jensen says, “I am very pleased that we, CIIC, were able to be part of this initiative and I am sure the experiences taken will not only benefit Aumai and the other students involved but also inspire them. This is an area that CIIC is passionate about and hopes to strengthen within the organisation and the Group overall. I encourage those students to enquire with those industries they are interested in.”